Apr 4, 2016 5:45 PM

Three Non-Marijuana Plants That Have Cannabis-Like Effects

On our website, we write a lot about medicinal effects of cannabis, but did you know that marijuana is not the only plant that contains cannabinoids? According to marijuana medical studies, cannabinoids interacts with endocannabinoid system of our bodies, which is responsible for us being healthy. Apparently, there are some other plants that can have the same or a similar effect on our body.

Echinacea flowers

You can find Echinacea in many floral gardens due to its beautiful purple flowers though you can also find it in every herbal store as well. It is famous as a remedy that can help people make their immune system stronger and get rid of such symptoms as migraines, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, and arthritis. It sounds suspiciously similar to what marijuana can do, is it not?

Well, apparently, the reason for such a coincidence is that Echinacea also contains cannabinoids, though a little bit different to those that you can find in cannabis. Echinacea's cannabinoids are called N-alkyl amides (NAAs), and they interact with the CB2 receptors in our body, just like THC does. These receptors help our body regulate inflammatory response and the immune system in general. Due to the lack of scientific studies on Echinacea, it is not yet established whether it can help patients with cancer though some therapists claim that it can, at least, help reduce the severity of some symptoms.

Theobroma cacao

Theobroma cacao is a scientific name for cacao tree which gives us famous cacao beans that are used for making cocoa powder, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, and, of course, dark and milk chocolate. Among marijuana smokers is it popular to eat a bar of dark chocolate before consuming cannabis, as you can definitely feel the high effect increasing. And that is not just a prejudice; indeed, dark chocolate contains some elements that interact directly with the endocannabinoid system.

In our body, there is a special enzyme, called FAAH, that activates anandamide that is kind of natural version of THC. Anandamide (and THC as well) makes us feel good, happy, and relaxed. But what can make FAAH activate anandamide? Well, CBD in marijuana and dark chocolate can do this.

Of course, the effect of dark chocolate is not even close to what you can expect from marijuana. But at least, it explains why chocolate sweets are so popular.

Piper nigrum

Due to lots of scientific studies on marijuana, we now know more about cannabinoids than ever before. Apparently, it is not only CBD and THC components that provide the special “marijuana effect,” but also terpene profile of cannabis that interacts with the endocannabinoid system as well.

That explains why different strains have different aromas. For instance, one of the most popular tastes and aromas in cannabis strains is the pepper-like one. This happens because these strains contain beta-caryophyllene (BCP) terpene, the same that you can find in black pepper.

BCP, like most of the terpenes, works similarly to cannabinoids and activates CB2 receptors. The study made at the University of Oxford shows that BCP terpene has a therapeutical effect on human body and can treat conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis. Another study adds cancer to the list.

All of these herbs have been used as natural medicines for ages, but it is only now that we start to understand the real value of what mother nature offers us. Cannabis is one of the most potent among items in the whole scientific herbarium, and its potential is enormous. Let us hope, that one day it would be possible to get access to cannabis just as easy as we can now access all the herbs mentioned above.

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